- Improved cloud-based contact center solutions as well as the CapEx-OpEx tradeoff argument appeared to be good enough reasons for some contact center managers to move their operations into the cloud.
- In retrospect, based on feedback from companies that have made the shift, there are more reasons than we may have thought driving this shift, including some that may not have been seen beforehand.
I have written before on the potential benefits of cloud-based customer care solutions and the company attributes and vertical market requirements that, in many cases, made it a relatively simple decision to move contact center solutions to the cloud. The most common identified drivers of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions were the increased number of technology solutions worthy of consideration and the budgeting advantages of paying a monthly fee versus making a large upfront capital expenditure on hardware and software. In retrospect, and after discussing the topic with enterprise decision makers, system developers and several others involved in the customer care industry, I realized there may be several other drivers behind the trend to the cloud. The list is probably longer than this and growing, but here are the additional reasons I have identified:
- Ease of Expansion to Multiple Channels – Expansion from a voice channel to multiple channels, including e-mail, instant messaging, SMS, social networks, etc., can be as easy as entering a key code in a system that already includes the capabilities to implement and manage other channels.
- Ability to Increase Points of Service – Adding more enterprise locations to a system or incorporating remote locations and/or home agents to an operation is a simple task using a browser and the Internet.
- Customization Possibilities – Custom changes made to the system by enterprise personnel or outside developers can be implemented as a simple software change without having any hardware implications at the main site and be instantly deployed across locations.
- Uniformity of Applications Across Locations – Unlike older premises-based solutions, multi-location cloud contact center implementations run on the same system regardless of location. This makes uniformity of service, training of agents, monitoring of the system and applications such as call recording single-application solutions throughout the enterprise.
- Regularly Upgraded Releases (Technology Refresh) – The monthly fee paid for a cloud-based solution includes all upgrades made by the provider, ensuring the latest technology is always available, if and when it may be required, and there is backward compatibility of all new releases. Note: Make sure you understand your provider’s planned new release schedule.
- Developers Shifting Their Focus to the Cloud – The clear move of third-party developers choosing both to work in the cloud environment and to develop applications on platforms using APIs commonly provided by the cloud providers is making the customization of cloud solutions and addition of new applications less expensive and more readily available to contact center managers.
I would be interested in hearing back from you regarding any additional benefits of a cloud-based contact center implementation that you have identified.